Even though their chances of getting the #1 seed in the East diminished with the Pacers’ win over the Thunder, there is still a shot that the Heat could capture the #1 seed. However it seems to me they value resting the tired shoulders of Lebron James more than home court against the Pacers. Reports out of Miami are that the Heat might rest James and even Chris Bosh for the final two games of the regular season.
Therefore tonight, the NBA Odds favor the Wizards at home at -4 ½, with a total of 189 ½. If James and Bosh end up sitting down tonight, there could be some really great value on the Wizards. Washington is still fighting to not have to play Miami in the first round, and I think they will be gunning for this win tonight.
A player who will likely be on the floor is Dwyane Wade, who made his return to the court for Miami this past week. It seems like his hamstring is fine, as he scored over 20 points in just 23 minutes of action. He will likely lobby to play tonight as well in order to get his rhythm heading into the playoffs.
However even with Wade on the floor for Miami, I think the play here is laying the points. Potentially not having James and Bosh to play on the road might be a death sentence against a hungry Washington team. The Heat are only 3-8 SU and ATS in their last 11 road games, and potentially playing without two of their best three players is not going to help that record.
The Sharp Pick
The Wizards have already beaten the Heat once this year in Washington SU, and they have covered two of their three games against the Heat this season. These two teams are in the same division, and they play one another often. The Wizards have covered five of their last nine games versus Miami, and with the possibility of James and Bosh being out, -4 ½ points is undervaluing Washington at home.
The Wizards have also gone 3-1 ATS in their last four home games against the Heat, and even though they have been pretty overvalued at home this season, the books are not really giving Washington any credit here. Just Wade alone will not be enough to best the Wizards. Plus, I doubt Wade plays 35 minutes or more in this game. He played 23 minutes in his return on Saturday, and after only one day off in between that game and tonight, I doubt Eric Spoelstra risks Wade more than another 20-25 minutes.
Washington on the other hand needs to keep playing. This is a young team that’s never made the playoffs together, and has very little playoff experience. They are going to want to go into the playoffs with momentum, and what better way to get themselves some momentum than to beat the Heat tonight for our NBA picks. Washington’s final game is Wednesday against the Celtics, and they could potentially rest some players then if they win tonight.
My Pick: Wizards -4 ½